tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 7, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EST
ninjas now available ready to fight inside the state of iran. this a show of force. various somersaults being done over swords, round house swords being done in the woods. all sorts of stuff. what else you got? >> some very upset twitter followers. one response, i'm up getting ready to comfort gisele, you guys should not pick on her, she has a tough life. >> it's tough being the highest-paid model on the planet. she went after tom brady's teammates in public for dropping some passes. she issued some expletives, but we'll forgive her because of the way she looks. that's the way the world works. "morning joe" starts right now. churches, houses of worship are exempted from this policy. those institutions where women of all faiths, many faiths, work, need to have the same kind of coverage that all other
american women have. we will work with institutions to try to implement this in a way that assures that the coverage is provided and that attempts to allay the concerns that are there. the creator gave every human being his or her rights. i'm just distressed as i watch, as i watch our president try to infringe upon those rights. the first amendment of the constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice. just this last week, this same administration said that churches in the institutions they run, such as schools and let's say adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees, free of charge, contraceptives, morning-after pills, in other words, abortive pills and the like at no cost.
think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views. this is a violation of conscience. we must have a president who is willing to protect america's first right, our right to worship god according to the dictates of our own conscience. >> unless you have his health care plan in massachusetts. good morning, everyone, it's tuesday, february 7th. welcome to "morning joe," with us on set, we have msnbc and time senior political analyst, mark halperin and we have steve ratner back with us. good to have you, steve, along with willie, joe and me, where do you want to start? >> there's so much to talk about. >> there really is. >> we have the controversy there brewing with the catholic church and the president. and also, this clint eastwood ad, you and i get our signals crossed. because i got home and i thought -- silly me, i like when americans go back to work.
so when the unemployment rate goes down, i cheer it. >> right. >> and i get hammered. and when i see commercials that air, that are inspiring people to get back in the game, it's halftime, because i always believe, america's going to win. >> i know you do. >> and if you bet against america, you know what happens to you? >> what happens? >> you lose, time and time again. i grew up in an america -- i grew up in elementary school, and in the '70s and i heard after watergate and vietnam we were collapsing, when jimmy carter, in high school. you hear it until the et cetera the end of the world. >> until you watch a 30-second ad and fell for it. >> two minutes. >> i see this ad and i'm like, this is good news. but i learn, mika, that actually republicans are supposed to hate this ad, which i like that. and democrats are supposed to
like the ad, but you hate the ad. >> i was tired by it. it's just an ad. >> you were tired by it. it was the most wonderful ad i've seen. it was extraordinary. >> it wasn't about cars. it was about america. >> speaking of cars -- >> willie geist -- maybe i'm just naive, okay? >> maybe i'm the kind of guy who tears up when a parade goes by and you see guys and women that have been fighting to defend old glory. >> let me ask you a question, how do you feel when an apple pie is set on a windowsill to cool and the smell comes through into the living room? >> you know, willie, the same way -- >> like i said. >> i feel when i see a vet lean over with his old grizzled hands and pick up a little puppy and pet it. god bless america, i feel good about it, willie. thank you for always asking. >> i just want to clarify it.
>> isn't that funny. clint eastwood, is he suppose to be a republican? >> well karl rove came out and said he was offended by the ad, he thought that clint eastwood was schilling for the obama administration. so clint eastwood put out a statement said i'm not an obama guy, this is for america. >> clint and i have one thing to say to these, these nay-sayers, these negative naibobs of negativism. go ahead, make our way, we'll wrap ourselves in the american flag. whether people like it or not. >> karl rove claimed that chrysler only did the ad so that they wouldn't have to give the money back. but they already gave the money back. >> we talked about the president
and the super pac business and "the new york times" has a story out about illegal money or skewed money. all this other stuff. but underlying the chatter yesterday, of course is catholic church controversy, mitt romney is seizing on it. >> they continue to point to the obama camp that there are state laws that are similar to this with what is required under health care plans, you said the big factor is it gives energy to the republican party and the conservative movement. you see rick santorum and newt gingrich and mitt romney all talking about this. because they know it rallies people on their side. and that's one of the things they've lacked. we talked about the lower turn-out in some of these early contests. if romney can get religious conservatives inspired by his candidacy, that's a big deal in terms of getting the base out in november. >> that's whey don't get about this. is the fact that you have with mitt romney, a guy that doesn't
inspire the base. he certainly doesn't inspire social conservatives and it would have been so easy for them to put a clause in there, that would have exempted catholics, if for moral reasons. >> okay. can we just get the -- >> can i finish what i'm saying. >> can we get the story straight? >> is that okay? >> yeah. >> i mean -- they empowered mitt romney. they've given him an opportunity to be a hero to the very social conservatives that probably wouldn't have gotten out and campaigned for him. and now feel free to -- >> just the peggy noonan piece left some things out. i think we're going to have her on, right. maybe not today? but, as the governor of connecticut pointed out yesterday, there are 28 states that have these policies in place. six states have the one that the obama administration are putting in place, and the thing that was really left out is that in this
new order, there's a one to two to three-year grace period for religious institutions to work it out to try to find a model in which it can be done. like hawaii has one. >> now, so let's start with -- >> that's really -- >> let's start with number two first, that the white house is putting out. >> i had a call with -- >> you asked mark what the white house was saying, you can also ask me. i took notes with it because i don't agree with it but i have to say that the article appears to be very misleading. >> they send you the memos. >> i was very curious about this, because i don't understand it. so i did some work and actually you know got information that we didn't have. >> joe was watching soccer, he was working. >> and we should point out -- >> i heard. let's start with your second point first. it is the most insulting point that the white house has put out and shows just how blind they are. on this issue.
to how they are stomping on people's religious liberties and their religious beliefs. number two, here's the deal. we're going to ask you to go against 2,000 years of catholic beliefs. but you no he what we're going to do, we're going to give you a one-year grace period to work through it. at the end of one year, can you then throw away your beliefs of 2,000 years. the number one issue, it is not relevant to me, what 28 states do. what is relevant to me as i'm judging president obama's performance, and kathleen sebelius's performance, is what the government doing. states should be able to do what states want to do on whatever issues. it's the federal government that impacts all of us, that's the real concern. >> do you think mitt romney has a really good argument against this, by the way? >> i'm not actually concerned about mitt romney. >> i was just wondering. >> mitt romney is irrelevant to me. if nittany's law in
massachusetts affected catholics in northwest florida, then i would be hearing from catholics that i went to high school with. and good friends of mine, so and this is what i've also found. this is what i've also found, it's fascinating what the left is doing today. what they're doing today is what the right did against muslims during the ground zero issue. where instead of talking about the issue at hand, whether muslims have a right toof a community center at ground zero, the right just attacked the bad actors in the sloom faimuslim f. what i've seen the left do is first of all try to make this about mitt romney or try to make this about what catholics did during world war ii. just ad homynim attacks. this is the same church that rapes little boys and stood by and let germans kill six million jews. the catholic church is being attacked by so many people in
the blogosphere and people on the far left. what romney's position is to me is not relevant. >> listen, as you know i my points of view are a little bit different than others on this. but i do think it's important to have a complete perspective on the story. the one thing we didn't talk about is that these systems are already in place across the country. and that also, health care is cheaper when it includes certain services. so how to parse that out. how to give people access to health care at the best cost, while respecting religious beliefs is a very difficult balance. >> but they don't respect religious beliefs, that's the problem. they are not respecting religious beliefs. >> what i would say is what i learned yesterday is that there is an effort. with the grace period and certain models out there like hawaii, which they're trying to accomplish in some of these other states, they're trying to grapple with that they're not just broad-brushing,
overstepping. >> there's a substantive debate to have here. it's one of the most complicated issues. remember when they were trying to pass health care in the house, the issue of how abortion would be treated was the big sticking point in the effort to get enough votes to pass it. two things are clear, the white house didn't explain it well enough or consult well enough with people because there's a lot of concern and people trying to get all of the facts. >> al sharpton said yesterday they didn't consult with any religious leaders. they didn't call anybody and just did it on their own. >> there are ways to do this that would think better balance, religious liberty with equal access to health care. like hawaii does. which they didn't do and again, i think they will move towards. but as a political matter, as i said before, this is bad for the president, there's no doubt. because it has the right energize. it gives them a social issue to dovetail with their economic argument. which is obama wants all the power centralized in washington. >> and willie, that's the key
right there. because i've made it clear and in books i've written and things i've said, i don't want washington in the business of abortion. i doesn't want washington in the business of gay marriage. you know, just stay out of it. none of your business. the issue here, though, is it seems to me, because everybody is obsessed about abortion, abortion, contra separation, sterilization, everybody wants to make that the fight. no. the biggest problem is, this confirms conservatives' worst suspicions about barack obama, that he wants to centralize power in washington, d.c., and he'll even walk on the rights of catholics and other people of faith if he has to do it. >> it cements the idea for conservatives. and people in the middle of the road will be voting in places like pennsylvania like we talked about yesterday, more broadly that he wants a government
takeover and the affordable health care act is a government takeover. that will go so far to infringe on liberties. >> it plays into the whole notion that government is too intrusive, government is too much in people's faces. government is too big. and whether you agree or don't agree with the actual issue at hand, it does have the right dynamics for those who are against more federal government involvement in things. >> defend, if you will steve, for a service to all of us here and people watching, that may not understand why the president would do this. why kathleen sebelius would consider this necessary. what do you think the logic is of the administration on why they felt it necessary to pull the catholics in to the, the catholic hospitals, who i guess one out of six hospitals are catholic hospitals. can you exclude that, that many? >> i think the argument you can make, and you will not necessarily like it, is that they do serve one out of six people, which means they employ tens, if not hundreds of thousands of workers. many of them relatively low
paid. a lot of women, obviously, who otherwise may not have access to these kinds of services. as mika said, it's either harder for them to get it, more expensive. and what the administration would say, and i groo he with mark, i think there's some work they're going to have to do to make this fly politically. we're not saying to anybody, you have to have an abortion, you have to take a morning after pill. we're merely saying you can have access to it and your health care plan will provide access to it it's not going to be endorsed or supporting it. >> nobody is compelling. this is not the federal government compelling an individual to take a birth control pill. this is the federal government compelling catholic institutions to provide coverage if someone chooses to do that. >> remember, it's coverage of people who work in these hospitals. it's not like you're forcing the catholic church to say to their parishioners, you should all go out and take birth control pills. it's simply making it part of health care plan for people who do jobs that have nothing to do with religion, per se.
they're simply working in an institution. >> i would say this about a democratic president or a republican president. when you do something this complicated. when you have a policy that implicates religion and people's deepest feelings. you cannot leave it to the bureaucrats to just announce it. this is when the president, as politically dangerous as it is, must step forward and explain it himself. explain why it's the right thing and lead the country to a sensible place. right now the president is not out there explaining this himself. it's the department of hhs and bureaucrats and press releases and jay carney, that's not enough. the president must lead on this. >> mark do you think the president didn't anticipate this reaction? >> i think they were surprised, mika, by this. i think they have a blind spot here that they didn't realize how this would upset catholics. >> i don't think the way they have it laid out is the way it's being characterized by mostly
those on the right. >> to your point, it's not just catholics, it's small-government conservatives as well. >> but it is being mischaracterized in some ways and i spoke yesterday about it with as much knowledge as i have. and there's a vacuum. the president is leaving a vacuum for his critics to come in and explain it their way and that's not sufficient. this is a complicated issue. the president got elected to be a leader. he needs to explain why has he put his finger on the scale on the side that he has. why is that the right? >> i think the president going to back down on this. i think they had a real blind spot and they got surprised. when you have a story about the head of the army, ordering army chaplains not to read a letter from the archbishop, i think, this is all, it's all taken off very quickly. and i would be shocked if the president didn't back down.
>> the same principle will apply if he changes. if he changes, however incremental it is. there will be pressure from the left to say you've caved. he's still going to have to explain it. he still needs to lead us to understand how is the country going to balance these difficult issues. >> well the president, the way it is laid out it leaves a good amount of time for that to happen. this is not a blanket overstep, which is what i thought it was when i read peggy's column, to be quite honest. >> they are in the white house, spending wildly. >> joe, i don't agree with the white house on this, okay? but i did call to listen to them. because that's what we do, okay? >> i know that's what we do. >> and so don't -- >> did you call peggy as well? >> i thought she was on today. >> is she not on today? >> alex, is she on? >> she can do friday. we're working on it. >> we're working on it. >> she's a hard booking. >> no but i mean i have to say
that it was not characterized completely. and when you look at it, there is time and a structure in place to try to figure out what is a very difficult balance. and you're making it look like, this, you know, they're just completely stomping on all americans' rights. >> no, i'm not. >> i have to say -- >> no, i'm not. >> it seems -- >> don't overgeneralize. all i said is i think they have a blind spot. they have passed a law that i think is going to i think, put catholics in a position where they have to grapple with this. >> not grapple with it. they understand. look at the letters that catholics have written. they understand. this is asking them to throw away their most basic beliefs. >> i think that actually the letters show they don't
completely -- it goes back to your point, then, that there needs to be clarity. they don't completely understand what's being asked. >> so catholic leaders are stupid. catholic leaders don't understand what they believe. this paternalism from the white house and you as a spokesperson for the white house is only going to make matters worse. no, let me tell you something, catholic knows what they believe and i hope this white house instead of attacking catholics, suggesting they're too stupid to understand what they believe, will go back and i hope the president will find the courage he found on friday night, i think it was this past summer where he spoke out for the religious rights of muslims. and the rights for muslims to practice their faith as they wish, as long as they are law-abiding. and i hope that the president will go back and will focus on religious liberties for catholics the same way he focused on religious liberties for muslims. >> there is a slight distinction here, joe, it's one thing to say to muslims you're free to
practice your religion. nobody is saying to catholics, you have to take birth control or use the morning-after pill. you're saying that the people who run these massive institutions employing all of these people, that if you have a health care plan, you have to make it available to people who work there. >> that's important. >> that's not saying you have to do that right now. >> that's central to the catholic faith. if i am running a business and i am required to provide health care that is required, i've got the federal government telling me first of all you have to provide health care. and secondly, in your health care plan, you have to provide services that your faith finds to be immoral. >> okay. >> that's not nothing. you know, we've, in france they've had the debate over whether in turkey as well, over whether muslim women can wear head scarves. and that seems like nothing. to french leaders and to a lot of people in the west. to muslims, that's central to their faith. and when you have a centralized state stepping in saying you
cannot practice your faith the way that you and your parents and your grandparents have practiced it, that ain't nothing. >> it's just not what -- >> if you were a catholic and you were working at a noncatholic institution and you were in charge of health care benefits, should you potentially be obligated to fill out forms and help people apply for contra separatio contraception? >> i would make that choice. >> or change jobs. >> by the way, it's about choice, it's about individual choice. >> and whether catholics or other americans agree with or not, it is more affordable to have health care that provides those services, which is one of the dynamics of this problem that makes it more complicated. and the other is, that's why they put in a period of several years to try to figure out. >> that's just irrelevant. you've got a year to figure out a way to -- i want to be really clear here.
to you, and to people watching. i am not painting horns on the president or kathleen sebelius, i have defended in fact kathleen sebelius, when newt gingrich has compared her to joseph stalin. she's not trying to kill 30 million people here. i think they are clumsy and i think this is, it's been very clumsy and i, but i do believe they have crossed a dangerous line when it comes to religious liberty. and i think most fair-minded people would agree with me. >> coming up -- >> it has nothing to do with reproductive rights. >> are you done i don't have anything else to say? >> you want to check your blackberry and see if the white house is emailing you? >> coming up we'll talk to the president's senior strategist, david axelrod and senior national senior, dr.
27 past the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." time now for a quick look at the morning papers. from "the new york times," the obama administration a returning a major campaign donation, more than $200,000, because of its ties to a fugitive in mexico. mexican casino owner, juan jose rohas car daytona fled the u.s. in 1994 whil facing drug and fraud charges. >> is that bad? >> it's not good. according to "the new york times," his two american brothers have since emerged as major donors for obama's re-election campaign, as they seek a pardon for their brother.
pepe has since been linked to violence and corruption in mexico. the suspected of orchestrating assassination of a business rival and making illegal donations to a mexican official. the -- it's not good, it's not good. the campaign said it refunded the money raised by members of the cardona family after "the new york times" asked about the brothers' fundraising role. yes, that's bad. but it's now been returned. >> you know, willie, politico is suggesting in an article last night, maybe it was early this morning, that the bad news came out because the bad news came out, the obama administration got the president late last night, to signal that they were going to take super pac money. i think that would generate headlines as well, and maybe overshadow the first story. but the "times" has the mexican drug fugitive money as their lead story. >> and then a column to the left, they have the obama super
pac story. mike allen is the chief white house correspondent of politico, mike, good morning. >> good morning, guys. >> the president is signing off, we're just talking about this, the effort that urges donors to send contributions to an outside fundraising group founded by former white house staffers in the past the president of course has been outspoken critic of the citizens united decision that stripped away limits on campaign contributions. it was that criticism that sparked a public reaction from justice alito during the 2010 state of the union address. here's what the president said that night. >> with all due deference to separation of powers, last week the supreme court reversed a century of law that i believe will open the floodgates for special interests. including foreign corporations. to spend without limit in our elections. i don't think american elections should be bankrolled by
america's most powerful interests. or worse, by foreign entities. they should be decided by the american people. >> but now mike allen, the white house going after the money, jim mussina, the campaign manager of the campaign says we're not going to fight this fight with one hand tied behind our back. what went into this decision? >> he was against it before he was for it. the obama campaign looked a the the huge numbers being racked up on other side. probably $200 million, $300 million take by karl rove's super pac, the one that he started, american crossroads. they decided they needed to get into the game this is quite remarkable. they're saying up front that cabinet officials, campaign officials, white house officials, will appear at events for priorities usa, which is the democratic super pac started by the former white house aides, bill burton and shawn sweeney. they say the president, the first lady, the vice president will not appear. but this is a big billboard,
telling the president's biggest donors, hey, you need to be writing checks to priorities usa which has had slow fundraising so far. this is ultimate jump-start. >> willie, bottom line, if you're george sorros and they're asking you to write a check, you're not going to write a check and then have the president carping at you from the sidelines. so you can understand why progressive donors would say, okay, yeah, i'll write a check. but you're not going to have it both ways. tell me that you want the check. so you're not attacking me as part of the problem. when i'm trying to help you out. >> part of it also is some of the progressive donors like george sorros don't want to write a check no matter what. george sorros said the other day that obama was like romney. >> what's the logic of the president not doing it himself. do they think that gives him clean hands? >> i think with super pacs, the
whole idea is it's not coordinated. if i were running for office, i wouldn't go talk to super pac downers. it's a fiction, it's sort of a legal fiction. but at the same time, there's not supposed to be coordination. so -- >> but the law allows you to solicit. >> i know. but if you're president of the united states, you can send somebody. you can send a cabinet secretary to do your bidding for you. right? >> i don't get the difference. >> it's not like these people aren't going to be coming to regular fundraisers and he puts his arm around them and says thank you for all your help. can we go golfing. it's again, it's just sort of, it's silly and i hope one day we'll knock down the wall between super pac rules and regular campaign rules. >> look, one day it would be nice to have a set of campaign finance rules that actually work so we don't spend $1 billion on every presidential campaign. >> mike allen, interesting, just last week when we got some of the names behind the republican
super pacs, the white house came out and said, we get broad support from many small donors and now a week later they're jumping on the super pac train. >> they saw the disparity was getting incredible. by itself, priorities usa was not raising the kind of money they hoped to. so now the white house is jumping in here and saying, you need to be writing checks to them. this is a big, a huge change. because those small donors were a big part of the obama message. now people are going to be looking at, what are these, what are these people writing these big checks want? it's a whole new dimension to covering the campaign. >> mike allen, thanks so much. coming up, gisele sticks up for her man when a group of giants fans heckle her after the super bowl. but she also manages to take a shot at her husband's teammates. >> is that good? >> he's not going to like that. sports is next.
million people to show up. >> where is the canyon of heroes? >> downtown. >> lower manhattan. >> wall street. >> wall street area. >> up to the city hall. like from wall street up to city hall. >> okay. >> and the festivities start yesterday. the team got home to newark liberty airport. separate event planned this afternoon after the new york parade, if you live in jersey they're going to go back to the stadium and have another party at the meadowlands. the super bowl mvp was on a different flight yesterday, that's because eli manning went to disney world as is custom to the super bowl mvp. the second time he made the trip in four years. sunday's game goes down as the single most-watched television program in united states history. an estimated 111.3 million people tuned in. the third consecutive year the super bowl has set a record. >> the terrible m.a.s.h. finale still holding on. >> i agree with you about that. >> it was horrific. >> 1983.
it was number one, the super bowl is going to put you out of the top ten pretty soon. >> let's hope so. how do i remember the m.a.s.h. finale. we all waited for it for two months, it was so bad i was in heroin rehab for a week. >> the front page of the "new york post" shows tom brady, moments after losing the super bowl, being comforted by his supermodel wife, gisele bundchen. asked family and friends to pray for tommy. she was leaving the stadium sunday night, a little frustration and the fourth quarter there were several dropped passes. by the patriots. gisele was heard on video, after she had been heckled, we should point out by giants fans, defending her husband and blaming the teammates. >> the receiver my husband cannot [ bleep ] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.
>> come on, she's sticking up for her husband. >> listen, that's what a wife should do but you don't throw your teammates under the bus. >> that's going to cause tom a little problem. i'm sure he worked that out with wes welker and dion branch. >> i'm sure these guys have no ego, i'm sure. i'm sure their wives are not going to be resentful of tommy boy's wife for saying that. >> i just love the giants, eli owns your husband. >> that's what we do, we win with class. >> last night, eli manning took another victory lap. went on the "late show" with david letterman to talk about the come from behind win. eli was asked about his brother, peyton, sidelined all of this season with a neck injury. there's been speculation that peyton manning will not return to the colts. eli may have added fuel to the fire last night. >> you know that you are my favorite manning.
i mean i told you this before, right? >> many times. i get a christmas gift from you every year. the jacket. >> how is your brother? what's going on there? >> he's doing well. he's rehabbing, he was in good spirits all weekend. got to be with him a little bit. he's healthy, just about getting to 100% where he can physically make all the throws. >> will he still be in indianapolis, do you think? >> i don't know. i do not know that. >> you know? >> i don't know. >> yes, you do, you know! >> i don't know. >> don't lie to me! >> dave is from indianapolis and a colts fan. about a month from right now the colts have to decide whether or not to keep peyton manning because they owe him a ton of money if they keep him. they're not going to keep him. look for miami, an interesting choice. >> a lot of people talking about the jets, there's no way he comes here and compete against his brother. >> but you know the, the colts peyton manning era is over.
>> or robert griffin. >> if you're peyton manning, go to miami for the last couple of years. live in south beach, have a good time. >> live in south beach, go to jimmy johnson's place. hang out on boats, fish. come on. you've lived in snowy indianapolis long enough. >> and your legacy is set in stone. you're one of the great ones, you're going to the hall of fame. >> south beach. >> do it! up next, coming up the super bowl ad with clint eastwood, steve ratner as we start showing if detroit is really on pace for a second-half comeback. and also [ male announcer ] we know you don't wait
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but it's a sign of what happens when chicago-style politics and the president of united states and his political minions are using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the best wishes of the management, which is benefitted by getting a bunch of our money, that they'll never pay back. >> did the white house or the campaign have any role in the creation of that ad or advising that ad or consulting on the ad? >> no. >> were you pleased with the ad? >> it was news to me. you know when i saw it. >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> tweeted after, did you see this, willie? hey, that was a good ad. did clint eastwood direct that as well as act? i'm just curious. i love that. >> what, you think he knew about it? >> of course, he did. >> would you just stop. >> let's clear one thing up. karl rove said that that ad was
paid for by chrysler. >> that's not true, chrysler paid back all of the money. the government is out of the chrysler business. and here's one of the ironies, chrysler is controlled by fiat. fiat's ceo is italian. you have this consequent essentially american ad being done by what is now essentially an italian company. >> and again, the company gains no favors with the federal government by running this ad. >> no, remember the company last year did the great eminem ad, right? >> which by the way, can i just say, i also liked that ad. >> they were great ads. >> come on, man. we're for detroit. there's nothing wrong with loving detroit. and loving michigan and loving american cars, let's look at your charts and let's go first of all on your first one. unemployment rates, united states versus michigan. >> the motor city is fighting back in december of '09, unemployment in detroit and in michigan got up well into the teens, 13.8% for michigan. over 15% for detroit. and today, detroit is down to 10.5%, not a great number, but a big drop. >> by detroit standards?
pretty good. >> remember, detroit still has problems, the city's finances may be taken over by the state. but all things considered, it's pretty good. if you go back to december of '07, you'll see that the spread today between detroit, michigan and the u.s. is closer than it was in december of '07 before all of this happened. >> let's talk about auto sector employment. obviously it has been dropping for a very long time. a precipitous drop. >> a precipitous drop. and right about the time that gm went into bankruptcy. which was june of '09, it hit bottom. at 1.63 million. auto employment across the country, dealers, everything and it's up 200,000. >> by the way, people might look at the chart and say, not a huge rebound, but fact that there's any rebound at all is pretty remarkable when you look at how bleak things were in early 2009. >> it's only halftime. it's part of the way back. >> it's only halftime. >> he didn't just do that?
>> you feeling lucky, punk. >> sn. >> let's talk about general motors, let's talk about their loan, first. let's start with them getting, they get a big loan, have they paid back their loan? >> they have not paid back their loan. the government still owns about 30% of the company. the government will probably not get all of its money back. but all things considered when you look at what's happened with gm, it was a great investment. if you look at gm's financials for a second and compare 2008 right before the bankruptcy, 2011, which they're about to report, revenue is about the same. because they've sold fewer cars, but at much higher prices, but look at profits, $31 billion loss in 2008. $8 billion profit in 2011. and remember, what mitt romney said about the bailout. >> he was against the bailout. >> he was against the bailout. he famously wrote a "new york times" piece. which i think we have a quote from. >> general motors ford and
chrysler, get the bailout that their chief executives ask for. yesterday, you can kiss the american automotive industry good-bye. >> this will be a campaign issue. >> it will be a campaign issue. especially in the industrial midwest. let's talk about the one company that didn't get a bailout, ford. >> ford. >> the remarkable story of ford. is that, is that great american success story still holding up? >> that great american -- ford is a terrifically managed company. >> isn't that amazing, ford has hired, they've allowed one member of the ford family after the ford member of the ford family to take what henry ford started and just saw it go downhill. but boy -- the latest generation. >> bill ford had the good sense to say i can't run this company full time get me allen mulally, who knew nothing about cars, he came from boeing and he went in there and fixed that company. >> and that was going to be the punchline that bill ford did what his predecessors did not do and he should be a hero to people at ford.
>> he is a hero. >> what is the difference between ford and the other companies? how did they get it right? >> management. management really matters. whether it's jack welch or steve jobs or allen mulally. it's interesting, three detroit auto companies, none of them, ceos, come from detroit and only one of them has any auto experience. they're basically from outside the industry. >> and that's made a big difference. >> fresh blood. >> all you have to do is read "the reckoning" to see what happened to the auto industry from 1981 to 2009. anyway -- >> still ahead, david axelrod and dr. zbigniew brzezinski, we'll be right back. willie, it's news you can't use. so losing weight clicked for me
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story. >> do you have that on your time warner cable? >> it's way up there with the hd channel. >> quick question, willie. i'm not completely versed in the abilities of ninjas. how do they dodge bombs? that come in from unmanned drones? >> dive-rolls. >> they get airborne and -- >> camouflage, that's important. >> we'll bring you up to date on this topic and more when the council on foreign relations, dan senor -- >> perfect timing. >> frame by frame -- >> he's knowledgeable on this. >> he and the other neocons have been warning about iranian ninja women for years now. >> don't give him any ideas. >> and david axelrod and mika's dad, zbigniew brzezinski, next.
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with all due deference to separation of powers, last week, the supreme court reversed a century of law that i believe will open the floodtes for special interests. including foreign corporations. to spend without limit in our elections. i don't think american elections should be bankrolled by america's most powerful interests. or worse, by foreign entities. they should be decided by the american people. now if you ask me would i love to take some of the big money
out of politics? i would. unfortunately, right now, partly because of supreme court rulings and a bunch of decisions out there, it is very hard to be able to get your message out without having some resources. and in 2008, part of the reason that we were successful is we ran an affirmative campaign about my vision for where the you state should go. i think what americans want to hear more than anything else is, how are you going to help me right now. if they're hearing a persuasive argument about how we are going to recreate a solid path for middle class success in this country, then i think i'll win. >> okay, we'll start there this hour. welcome back to "morning joe." mark halperin and steve ratner with us and joining the table now is adjunct senior fellow for the council on foreign relations, dan senor. >> hey, guys, good morning. >> how is it going? >> good, how are you? >> it's going okay here. >> we're a little upset.
>> about gisele? >> about gisele. i mean seriously -- >> she's a party pooper. >> the bottom line is he can't catch the ball, too. wow, he's going to have a hard time talking to his teammates. >> did she say this to fans? >> she said this to hecklers. >> on her way out. >> of the luxury box. >> i think it was probably better for tom when she was asking people to pray for him. so we had the president bumping the campaign finance research. mark halperin, obviously a lot of republicans are going to make hay about the fact that the president now is supporting his own super pac. he had no choice, did he, politically? or did he? >> certainly the playing field would threaten to be against him in terms of total money. last time he had a big cash advantage. the super pac they're going to raise money for discloses all its donors. and it remains to be seen, this
is a necessary first step, it remains to be seen how much the donors will give to the super pac. they probably need a republican nominee before they can really get a lot of checks. for people to say, here's the choice. re-elect the president or x. until they have the opponent likely romney, i think it's going to be difficult for them to really raise a lot. >> steve ratner, you've talked at length before about a lot of people on wall street who gave to the president four years ago. are not going to give to him now. and the question that one article brings up this morning is whether a super pac will in the end, allow him to raise a lot of money. because he is upset for a variety of reasons. a lot of his former supporters. >> look, wall street is a little bit of an issue for him. i think it's gotten a little better in recent weeks, it's definitely challenge. but the super pac money, the big money comes from people bike george soros, people who are very, very wealthy, not just kind of wall street wealthy. and i think mark is right, it will take a republican nominee and a set of choices put in
front of republicans to side. >> you said george soros said last week there's not a lot of difference between barack obama and mitt romney. >> he said that for now. he may not be there. i'm saying it's people like him. the other point is look, i don't think you can fault the president for doing this. you cannot have unilateral disarmament, right? we have a system, the system is broken, but you have to play by it in order to win. >> there's a great quote from soros' political guy in the "new york times," asking that now the president is doing this, will he give? he says it takes a very sophisticated or very cynical person to decry the nefarious politics and then turn around and write a check for $5 million. >> so there's more concern from george soros about being engaged in this sort of activity. dan senor, you can't blame the obama administration when they see karl rove and ed gillespie and other groups raising tens of millions of dollars. >> no, they threw around this billion-dollar number, ten months ago, they were going to raise a billion dollars.
i don't know if they were anticipating raising it some of it from the super pacs, it sounds like initially they weren't. now there's something going on which is symptomatic of the broader campaign. is there's not as much energy for obama in 2012 as there was in 2008. it affects money. you had an mazing volchenkov of small donors. people finding obama, not he finding them. he wasn't twisting these arms. my wife and i decided we're not going to go out on saturday night for dinner, we're going to send $50 to the obama campaign. >> he still has that. he still has that. >> i'm saying there's something going on. you hear this, steve's talking about in the wall street community. i've heard it in the jewish community there are people who were very involved in 2008, who are sitting on the sidelines now. i saw one poll that showed that 60% of major jewish fundraisers from 2008 have either decided not to support 2008, or are waiting to decide. i think there are these segments
that are sitting on the sidelines. i don't blame obama. >> but if you look at the overall numbers, obama has outraised all the republican nominees put together the small-dollar money and the dnc has outraised the rnc. >> the dnc can do this joint fundraising because they have a candidate. the rnc can't start the maxed-out, $30,000 donations until they have a nominee. but obama has an amazing fundraising machine which was augmented by its spontaneous, genuine bona fide movement in 2008. i think some of it will be there in 2012, particularly when republicans have a clear nominee and the choice is clear. but i don't think it is going to be replicated to the extent of what you saw in 2008. >> one of the things that they write, jim mussina, raised in his email was that very few number of people have written giant checks to the romney super pac and they're spending it mostly on negative ads. you can imagine super pacs that
get broad-based support. you can also imagine a very small number of people writing multimillion-dollar checks. its going to be interesting to see if the president's super pac will take checks that are big. if they're offered a $5 million chick, will they take it? i suspect they will. >> i'm not sure -- because -- >> then they start discriminating from whom the money comes from. >> i think they'll take it. look the in a perfect world, you don't want to have one donor the way newt gingrich does. you want to have it more diffuse. >> if you have to do this, which at this point you still do. >> there are a lot of rich conservatives who are going to write checks that size, i'm quite confident. >> and there are, let's be real here and just see, just like you know, i kept saying for a year, crazy never wins. in republican primaries. we always seem to find a moderate that -- we crazy people can't get excited about. that's a shame. >> anyway, regardless of all
that, also, the closer you get to the election, the more the battle lines harden. and all of these people in february on the right, they're saying i am not going to ever support nittany. and on the left, barack obama has let me database, he's not a liberal. you know, you get closer to it, the battle lines harden and suddenly people get their check books out. a lot of the progressive who is say they're not going to give money to barack obama. they're going to be giving lots of money to barack obama when the alternative is let's say mitt romney. >> but the way the checks get written in the main, is people like karl rove and bill burden go to meetings, one-on-one, often sometimes small groups with very rich people. they do a power-point presentation and they explain here's woo why we need your check. the republican road show has that down now and they've gotten a lot of big checks. it will be interesting, can democratic presentations, what is it about? is it about the president's record? is it about why mitt romney is scary. they need a presentation that gets those checkbooks open with
lots of zeros written in. >> let me ask you this, i don't want to circle back to the catholic argument, i think we've done that enough for now. but i remember in the 1990s being surprised, bill clinton, who is the ultimate champion of triangulation, the ultimate moderate democrat, he constantly appealed to both sides, except when it came to abortion. and he, i remember the partial birth abortion veto. i remember a lot of other actions. where he stayed connected with that base. we have seen the power of the pro choice lobby. planned parenthood, of course you have emily's list. do you think these two, do you think this catholic decision had something to do with the president saying, i've got to lock down my base? because there's a ton of money from these pro choice supporters? >> i'll say bill clinton, his mantra on abortion as a candidate, was safe, legal and
rare and that was a more moderate formulation than democrats had up until this point. >> but on policiwise, he was not moderate. >> i think the president did it out of principle. he really believes -- >> come on, man. >> doing it for politics, i don't think he would have gone this way. >> how can you say that -- and i'm not knocking the president for being a politician. he's a politician. but you always say that, you just look at the headlines today. and look at the fact that this president, has changed on citizens united, just like four years ago, he changed on public financing. he was for it until he found out it would be more politically expedient to be against it then he was the first person since watergate to blow through the spending caps. i'm not knocking him for doing what a politician does. how do you say that everything he does is based on principle? >> you asked me about the decision related to health care. the president believes that everyone in the country deserves
equal access to necessary medical -- >> affordable health care. >> equal access. and from his point of view, access to contuldn' contracepti right that everybody is entitled to it. if he was doing it based on politics, he wouldn't have done it this way. >> unless you have a horrible blind spot on how conservative catholics think. >> it's not just conservative catholics, catholics have been voting across the spectrum the last decade. this could be a unifying issue. as one catholic just wrote, 70% of the catholic churches over the past weekend and the parishes, there were people basically advising their congress gants to speak out on this issue. so could this be a unifying issue for catholics, 70-plus million catholics inth country are part of the electorate. and obama won most of them in
2008. >> but catholics are split down the middle on abortion. i guess the question is, again, as willie brought up, does this, does this reinforce the most negative stereotypes about the president wanting to centralize power in washington, d.c.? >> "the wall street journal" estimates, you take the catholic charities networkings, the largest private charity in the country, about 70,000 members, okay? if that network decides to defy this executive order, it will incur fines of approximately $140 million. not to mention the health care that they're going to have to actually buy for all their employees. so regardless of where you stand on abortion, will catholics start to feel like this is, is an executive action that is going to bankrupt a key part of the anti-poverty ecosystem. that david brooks spoke about today. there is this anti-poverty ecosystem in this country and the catholic charities are a big part of it. and this could, if the catholic charities choose not to comply
with it. could be a huge blow to a big system and -- >> this is another thing that has been debunked, is not agreed upon by, we can ask david axelrod perhaps coming up. these millions and millions of dollars in fines, i'm told, is simply not true. so you have to be very -- >> the white house is telling you they're not going to fine people? you have to be careful, also, what we're believing from mouthpieces in the white house. >> you need to really be careful. because that's, that's almost -- >> joe was making a slightly different point. which is whether this becomes a unifying issue between people who believe in small government or big government. whether you're a catholic or not. whether you simply look at this and say why is the government getting involved in these kinds of decisions, the point you were making earlier. >> i am not catholic. i said earlier, i don't want the federal government involved in abortion, social issues, gay marriage. it's a bigger question, a more
fundamental question about the long arm of the federal government. >> and there's another political piece that i'm surprised hasn't come up yet, which is the hispanic vote. people have looked in vain to say, my reporting, what can romney do to reach out to hispanic voters. this is one where i think you could imagine the advertising on this that could be very potent for a lot of people, a lot of catholics in the hispanic community. >> let me read, actually alex i'm going to go back to the catholic leaders. the president of the catholic league, bill donohue, this is what you're talking about, some of the concepts that are out there and the reactions that are out there. he released a statement saying in part, never before, unprecedented in american history for the federal government to line up against the roman catholic church. this is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions and dare i say it, maybe even in the streets. and then an archbishop who leads the roman catholic archdiocese for the military is attacking the obama administration for the
health care mandate in a letter to be read at all sunday masses for the u.s. military, the archbishop wrote in part, quote, it is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle. we cannot, we will not comply with this unjust law. the army is taking issue with that sentiment, saying it could be misunderstood as a call for civil disobedience. the "national review" reports that the chief of chaplains ordered clergy not to read the letter from the pulpit but after discussion with the archbishop, the army agreed they could not dictate what is read at religious services. >> you have the head of the army telling priests, let's just stop for a second, and think about this. you've got the head of the army telling priests, you are forbidden to read a letter written from an archbishop, talking about a concept that is central to our belief as
catholics. >> this is the federal government overreaching in a way that horrifies a lot of people. who don't even believe in god. >> you see -- okay. >> small government conservatives, there are a lot of libertarians who are athiests as well. who are horrified by this -- again, overreach by the federal government. >> i think there's a real interesting debate in conflict between you know, church organizations and ha they believe in and what the government -- i love this debate. i think it's fascinating and i'm on a different side of it than many would think. having said that, what the white house and what the government is trying to do is provide affordable health care to everyone and they're trying to figure out in a very convoluted situation, because religion is involved, how to do that. and they're not forcing it. they're not forcing it. this reaction is too extreme. they're trying -- >> they're not forcing what? >> they're not forcing this
order on to religious organizations that they must cover birth control and sterilization. >> they're not? >> no. there's a several-year grace period and they're looking at different models a don't interrupt me to try to figure out, he is right now thinking you're about to interrupt me. >> no, it's because he's catholic and he's really struck by this issue. >> they have a model in hawaii that you've talked about, which is a sign that there can be an agreement. that something can be worked out. that is palatable in some areas. and they want that grace period to work it out. this is not something that is being forced right now, it's not, and we shouldn't characterize it that way. >> but some people look at the impulse that led to the current policy and see big government overreach and a lack of respect for religious institutions. >> i agree with that. >> i think they can explain a slightly changed policy that will be difficult in a way but acceptable to the country at large. but the status quo is politically and substantively, problematic for them. >> i hope for the white house's
benefit and for catholic charities' benefits and catholic hospitals' benefits, who provide remarkable services, as michael gerson said today in his "washington post" article, i hope they come to a compromise. there is a compromise to be had here. >> what would the compromise be? >> well, i don't know. >> you can opt out? >> you can opt out and refer people to another provider. >> is there not a way -- >> without incurring a fine. >> is there not a way for me, as a, if i'm, if i run catholic hospitals, is there not a way for me to talk to my insurance company and say listen, we're going to cover everything but contraceptive services? >> that's what hawaii does. >> is there not a way? there's a way around this. >> well the insurance is already provided by a third party. what are they going to refer them to some other provider somewhere? then you have to go off on your own, you have to call them up and you have to get a policy. >> it seems to me, that catholic
hospitals and charities have such a powerful position in the marketplace, that when they're doing deals with insurance companies, they can say, we're not going to cover contraceptives, but we will get insurance from you if you can figure out to give our employee who is choose to it, a third-party coverage, so they don't have to wander out in the wilderness and find it for themselves. >> hospitals can facilitate it you can sign up for this rider or that rider and pay an extra $10 a month. ? >> no, we're going to provide health insurance and if you want to get contraceptives, call this number and they can provide it to you. it's a third-party provider and we worked it out with our insurance company. i'm making this up, but there's a deal to be had here. this is not difficult at all. this is an example, i think of federal government that overreached. it's just not hard. this is not a difficult corner to get out of. it's not worth what the white house has been dealing with the past couple of days. i think it was a blunder.
i don't think kathleen sebelius is joseph stalin, as newt gingrich does. i have not seen 30 to 40 million people slaughtered. >> see, i think it's a blunder, too. >> the obama collectivization. >> in terms of the reaction. >> i think dan bought into the whole clint eastwood -- >> halfaked in america. >> come on. >> it's a good ad. >> it's a good ad. >> i love america. i just think it's absurd to suggest that the future of america lies in the model of detroit. i'm not as optimistic -- >> that's not what the ad said. >> can you do me a favor. can we not talk about the ad? seriously, it's just an ad. it's just an ad, just stop this, this is stupid television. >> you don't think detroit is a model for america? >> population is less than 750,000. you know, few decades ago it was the fifth largest city in
america. everyone in america was going to detroit. it was america's silicon valley. i'm not suggesting there aren't things, things aren't getting slightly better there. but the suggestion is this is our city is set upon a hill? >> dan, you are a cultural it literate. even huey lewis knows that detroit is the heart of rock and roll. mika, what's next? >> it's halftime. still ahead, we'll talk to the president's senior campaign strategist david axelrod and zbigniew brzezinski. and next, "new york magazine's" gabe sherman.
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banks are aware that populism has a foot hold, even in the republican party and that these forces are liable to accelerate the process already taking place. there's a real sense that the world is changing, says a private equity executive with deep ties to the gop. people are becoming aware there's real anger out there. it's not just some kids camping out in some park. the romney attacks caught everyone by surprise. we have prepared for this to come from democrats in the fall. but not now. you can ruin an entire campaign if you're barack obama with ads using nothing but republicans saying things about finance that you would never hear two months ago. an amazing thing. >> how are they preparing for the brave new world that they face? >> well, it's amazing thing.
you know how everyone talks about the voters who are far ahead of where folks in waesh are. the people i talk to wall street are so far ahead on the tax issue, jamie diamond was on the record saying, raise my taxes, i got no problem with that so this conversation that's taking place on wall street trading floors and in executive suites is far ahead of what's happening in washington. >> it's remarkable. >> steve ratner, that is fascinating coming from ken langone. even republicans are now understanding what the future is looking like. >> wall street republicans understand deficits. of all the different things that are swirling around there, they understand deficits. i would maybe, gabe, not take, be slightly in the same place that you are. i think wall street executives don't entirely understand. they see the anger out there, but they think it's unfair, unjust. >> of course. >> and i think they're still in their bunkers to a considerable degree. >> this piece sort of started
with the premise of trying to understand how wall street is responding to the 99% movement and the whole idea. what i found in the reporting is that what wall street, what the occupy movement doesn't understand is this business is fundamentally changing. they sort of have an image of wall street from 2005-2006, when the bonuses were through the roof. this is a much smaller, more regulated, just more of a grind of a business and that's not going to be appealing to people who want the pitchforks out there. but if you look at the numbers, the things that banks used to do to make insane profits, leverage and risk-taking, are being taken away. >> what's the response from inside of wall street when they hear rick perry, mr. big money, big oil, big business himself, going after vulture capitalism? when they hear newt gingrich, who has built a career out claiming to be the winston churchill of the free
marketplace -- trashing mitt romney for doing, oh my god, how dare he do that, taking bad companies, firing people and making them more productive? that had to be -- >> that was one of the most destabilizing things that a lot of these finance executives could hear. they could always rely on republicans to be defenders of capitalism in the free market to hear a sort of progressive far left attack coming from within the republican party. the politics -- >> of rick perry. are getting so scrambled. essentially it's just populism. on the left and the right. they know it's out there. and i think they're trying to triangle late to see if they can find a way through. >> dan, what makes newt gingrich and mitt romney sound like nyu grad students from occupy wall street? >> it's gingrich and perry. >> did i say romney? >> yeah. >> maybe gabe is on to something. maybe populism is spreading.
>> with gingrich and perry, it's political opportunity. they saw an opening there is this populist strand within the right, which is anti-big institutions, we tend to think of it as anti-big government. it's anti-big government, big business, big organized labor. they see these big business institutions that have benefitted from government, gotten bailouts from government. got these huge bonuses. the irony is that private equity was actually an exception. >> no private equity fund got a bailout. the kind of firm that mitt romney runs and his peer groups -- >> small institutions. many of them failed and blew up and they disappeared. th ones that were well run survived. they weren't actually kept on life support by the government. >> how fascinating, gabe, that newt gingrich, nobody has connected these dots. newt gingrich ran the anti-bain ads and got absolutely trashed by the republican establishment. and yet, when did he run those? the lead-up to south carolina. >> where he won. >> i know, and i wonder if we're
going to, it's sort of died down. i wonder if we're going to see sort of a return of that populist strain on the right. the tea party and the republican establishment have always been this uneasy alliance. and to dan's point, a lot of the tea party sentiment is anti-big banks and it's out there. >> in '94 when we came in, 1994, drinking game. there was a real tension between, 72, 73 freshmen republicans, about half of us were conservative/populists, and the other half, we fought against the mexican bailout, we were very skeptical on some of the, some of the free trade agreements. there's always been this tension within the republican party. and you see it now again, with the tea partiers coming in. >> which is what will be interesting on the private equity and the hedge fund world, if you see more and more smaller investors, a guy who runs a $500 million, $250 million turn-around shop in iowa, who says, look, i just buy
mid-market companies, i turn them around. i actually serve a useful purpose in my community by saving these companies and i actually am expanding the retirement savings of the pensioners whose money i'm investing. if those people start being demonized, that is a whole new world and it's a whole new world for republicans. because that, that group within the economy are not the people that the populist republicans hate what they hate is wall street. >> let's step back. i think where the dust is going to settle here is the business community, the wall street community is very comfortable with romney. he's the presumed nominee. they get him, he thinks they get them. and that's the horse they're going to ride. so i think the whole populism thing is out there, but at the end of the day, i don't think it's going to be the biggest threat. >> you've got these attacks on wall street, when wall street is emasculated to some degree by the weakening economy. so what they're trying to do is hunker down, get in the bunker, run their business and sort of get through this. >> steve, can i ask you a
question? we have the collapse in 2008. government bailout, a lot of people, a lot of the banks use that money to make investments, they make record profits in 2009. now we're hearing again, tons of layoffs, whether it's at citi or whether it's bank of america. it seems like there's been, there was a bust, there was a boom and a bust again. what's going on? >> well wall street has two problems at the moment. one is the fact that the whole sloanist in our economy means that the volume is slow. deals are slow, underwriting is slow, business is simply slow. and then you layer on top of that, the pending impact of dodd-frank and all the new regulation, it's forcing wall street to cut back business, cut its balance sheets and cut people. >> and it's a tough time on wall street. >> can't take the risk-taking they did in 2010. >> gabe sherman, thank you so much. your article "the end of wall street as they knew it" is now
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better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. all right. welcome back at 40 past the hour. what? what? >> wow. >> i'll tell you later. >> moving on, moving on. >> moving on. don't give me that look, we're moving on. do you want me to read this with us. with us now, washington, former national security adviser, dr. zbigniew brzezinski, author of the new book, "strategic vision." has very kind things i'm sure to say about the russian government. >> hold on a second, dan senor, i'm going get you this book, "strategic vision."
because i think you need some. >> he was the one who got all uncomfortable here. why are you taking shots at me? >> we're wasting your father's time. dr. brzezinski, there's a lot to talk about. let's begin with syria, t"the nw york times" this morning had a searing editorial basically saying the blood of the syrian people are on the hands of moscow and beijing. what can we do to move syria forward to accept the arab league's position on this? >> the russians will have to learn by themselves because of off the ra six, i think the international community is extremely critical of russia's position, of china's position. but at the same time we have to face the fact that this is not libya. i think the options, the military options are much more limited. in my view, we ought to be working as closely as we can with turkey. turkey is a key player here. turkey is a friend. and i think if we work with the turks, we might make some significant progress.
>> so let's talk about motivations, just so americans at home reading "the new york times" editorial and following the syrian story, can have a better understanding of the self-interests self-interests, that would move russia and china to oppose what seems to be a common-sense resolution by the u.n. what motivates, let's start with china. what motivates china to oppose this u.n. resolution? >> i think what motivates both china and russia is self-interest. i think they're concerned that at some point, that resolution could be a precedent for a resolution regarding their internal affairs. i think it's an overstated fear, it's an exaggerated fear. it's understandable, begin their context, but it's short-sighted. we ought to stick to our guns on this issue and work with those who are prepared to work with us. and i reiterate, i think in that respect, turkey is an important player. maybe even the key to finding a solution to this issue.
>> and how does turkey help the world community move forward on this crisis? >> the turks have a lot of influence within syria. the turks are right next door. a lot of the opposition within syria to the assad regime bases itself on turkish proximity and in some cases, even on their presence within turkey. they have meetings in turkey. they issue manifestos, they organize themselves politically. perhaps even militarily. >> dr. brzezinski, good morning, it's willie geist. you said that the situation is unlike libya. and yet we've been reading over the last 24 hours, the idea since there was no u.n. security council resolution that was able to go through, the idea of doing something outside the u.n. whether it's germany, france and the united states getting together, putting together some kind of coalition, that coalition would be put together to do what exactly? are we talking about sanctions? are we talking about military action? just to be very clear, what's the idea there? >> well i'm not sure what the
idea is. because i'm not sure i'm propounding a coalition. before you have a coalition, you have to have some notion of what it does. and that hasn't been spelled out. i am personally skeptical that military action from the outside is likely to be effective. for one thing, the libyans, who are easily accessible from the sea, this is not the case with syria. it's also a country which has, i think, much more military capability and the situation within the country is much more confused. than the sort of black/white notions that we get from sweeping generalizations about what is happening there. >> dan senor? >> dr. brzezinski, what if the sort of direction isn't binary? >> where we're sort of stuck in the middle? where we don't get buy-in from russia and china on the action by the security council. and nato just came off of libya
and distractions of what's going on in their own countries, yet the president of the united states has said assad must go. and so he's put the prestige of the united states on the line by saying assad must go. and assad is iran's closest alley at a time we're dealing with a real strategic crisis with iran. what kind of damage could be done, if we just, in this waiting period, for a long period of time, while assad is slaughtering civilians and while the president is just keeps saying, assad must go, assad must go and looking like he's, assad is able to act with impunity. >> i think the first point is to ask whether one should be saying, assad must go, unless one knows how to force him to go. i think that's kind of obvious. unless you're propagating the notion that we ought to go to war simultaneously in syria and with iran. >> i'm saying we've passed the point. the president has repeatedly said, assad must go. we no longer have the luxury of that decision. >> perhaps we better swallow that decision unless we have a
better course of action to advocate. in which case, let's advocate it explicitly. are you recommending that we go to war, both with syria and with iran. >> i'm not recommending that. i'm simply saying there are things i think we could do, whether it's arming the rebel forces, helping to train and fund and get resources to those in some sort of no-drive zone. where i think we could use turkey as you said. >> we can't use turkey. we can work with turkey. turkey is a sovereign country and it's our ally. i think we have to consult closely with the turks, second with the saudis, they are preeminent in the arab league and we can fashion a common approach on that basis. but be guided by their views as to what ought to be done. then i think we can be more effective than simply sitting here in washington, issuing categorical commands to the effect, assad must go. i think as you yourself agree, this is kind of an exercise in futility. >> so, dad, we want to
congratulate you, because your book is not only in "new york times" best-seller, but a "washington post" best-seller. "strategic vision." as i hand dan senor which he will read copiously tonight. cover to cover. >> i've actually read sections of it. and i agree with a lot of it particularly what your father says on russia. >> really? >> yes. >> good. there's hope for you. >> it's a little bit of neocon in him when it comes to russia. >> he's a realist in his heart, but there's a little bit. >> dr. brzezinski, we have to let you respond to this. >> on russia, i think i was a little bit ahead of the neocons by several decades. and -- >> we caught up to you. >> and the soviet union disappeared. now what i argue in the book, in fact is that the west ought to try to engage and embrace russia. because i think in the longer run, russia should be part of the west. and can be part of the west. probably after putin.
but the question is, whether that will last six years or 12 or maybe can be accelerated. the point is, there is now in russia the emergence of a genuine civic society. composed of the middle class, the younger middle class members, people of traveled abroad. who study abroad. who are in touch with the west. i think we can work on that. and thereby, in the process, create a larger and more vital west than what we have today. >> dr. brzezinski, that's a long-term plan and set of ideas. when about in the current crisis with syria. you suggested russia has to be made to sort of feel the embarrassment of not going along with the united states. but is there anything that obama administration can do to turn russia in the short term on syria? >> i don't think so. unless you know, russians give us a bill involving a lot of other concessions to them, which would not be in our interest to make. i'm not going to speculate what that might be, i'm sure they have such a list, but i don't
think this would be worthwhile. i think the russians are paying a major price in terms of public opinion. it undermines putin's notion of how russia ought to conduct itself. so in a separates it may be in the long run beneficial, because it will speed up the process of change within russia. >> you have a, listening to you this morning and listening to several of your book events, you keep going back to turkey. and the strategic importance of turkey. it obviously has always been a bridge between the middle east and europe. and there's always been an internal battle inside. and yet, you look at over the past ten, 15 years, public opinion polls in turkey, have shown that their people have a negative impression of the united states. are we turning a corner there? are things improving, relations improving between the united states and turkey? and if not, what do we need to do moving forward to focus on this key ally? >> well, in fact, they are
improving. and the position, standing of the united states, has risen. the presidents that been in touch quite often with the prime minister of turkey. they talk to each other talk to each other directly. turkey is the most important largest democracy in the middle east. and in that sense, it is a vital ally. it has been our partner throughout the years. and dealing with these cricrise, iran, turkey can be an important player. perhaps it would be more effective than severally issuing injunctions in one case, he has to go, in another case all options are on the table. none of these are particularly productive, none of them contribute to a solution. a little more consultation and collaboration with people who have a direct state and immediacy to the issue at hand. >> all right.
thank you so much, doctor. >> good to be with you. >> nice to have you. come back soon. >> and congratulations again. the book continues to do very well. strategic vision, america and the crisis of global power. it's a shame we're running up against a hard break here. i wanted to ask him of course about gazellegisele. >> possible international crisis. >> no doubt this is ugly and we'll have to play this clip next block. ♪ a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business.
sex, whacky dog, whacky baby, section, sex, may me think i may be gay, whacky monkey, leno likes to steal stuff from fellow comedians. >> wow. pretty good round up, i guess. >> pushes the story on us again. >> stop. >> it's petty, trivial, but -- >> why do you think that is? >> tom brady moments after losing the super bowl, being comforted by his super model
wife gisele who you'll remember she asked her family and he sfrs to pray for tommy. >> very religious. >> pray for tommy. so after the game, patriots lose the game, she's leaving the stadium, giants fans start heckler her, yelling at her. and you may have noticed there were a few dropped passes by patriots receivers. >> just a few. what's a few? >> that leads to this. >> oh, my goodness. >> let's go through what she's talking about. wes welker dropped a critical pass. dionne branch, the throw was behind him.
>> but all great receivers. >> and tom brady said as much instantly after the game. he said are you kidding me? i'd play with wes welker every day. >> it's his wife. >> heat of the moment. >> yelling about her husband that she loves dearly. >> there's emotion and beauty involved. >> they were yelling about eli. >> her husband is ruled by eli. any wife will -- >> i say good for her. >> any wife will blame it on the husband's teammate. [ female announcer ] goodnight gluttony, a farewell long awaited. goodnight, stuffy. goodnight, outdated. goodnight old luxury and all of your wares. goodnight bygones everywhere. [ engine turns over ] good morning, illumination.
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churches, houses of worship are exempted from this policy. those institutions where women of all faiths, many faiths, work need to have the same kind of coverage that all other american women have. we will work with institutions to try to implement this in a way that assures that the coverage is provided and that attempts to allay the concerns that are there. >> the creator gave every human being his or her rights. i'm just distressed as i watch our president try and infringe upon those rights. the first amendment of the constitution provides the right
to worship in the way of our own choice. >> just this last week, this this same administration said that churches in tand the institutions they run such as sko school, hospitals, that they have to provide free of charge contraceptives, morning after pills, and the like. at no cost. think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views. this is a violation of conscience. we must have a president who is willing on protect america's first right, our right to worship god according to the dictates of our own conscience. good morning as we take a live look at sunny manhattan. gorgeous. >> go jogging in that. >> back with us onset, we have
mark halperin and steve rattner. >> so much to talk about. >> there really is. >> we have the controversy there brewing with the catholic church and the president. and also this clint eastwood ad. you and i get our signals crossed. because i get home -- i cheer it and i get hammered, and when i see commercials that are inspiring people to get back in the game, it's halftime, because i always believe america will win. >> yes, i know you you do. >> and if you bet against america, you lose time in and time out. i grew up in america, i grew up in the '70s, and i heard after watergate and vietnam that we were collapsing. i heard when jimmy carter was president in high school that we were like the roman empire, we
were this decline. you hear this all the time. you have a recession and it's the end of the world. until it's not the end of the world. until i see this commercial -- >> until you see watch a 30 second ad and fell for it. >> actually two minutes. so this is good news. you but i learned that actually republicans are supposed to hate this ad, which i like that, and democrats are supposed to like the ad, but you hate the ad. >> i just was tired by it. it's just an ad. >> you were tired by it? it was the most wonderful ad i've ever seen. it was extraordinary. >> it wasn't about cars. you know it wasn't about cars. >> it was about america. >> it was about america. >> and speaking of cars, that's a great sorry. >> maybe i'm just naive. maybe i'm just the kind of guy that tears up -- >> you're not going to spend a lot of time on the darn ad. >> you see guys and women that have been fighting to defend old glory, but i was inspired.
>> how do you feel when an apple pie is set on a window sill to cool and the smell comes through interest. >> the same way i feel when i see a vet lean over with his old grizzled hands and pick up a little puppy and pet it. god bless america. i feel good about it, willie. >> just wanted to clarify that position. >> and clint eastwood i guess is supposed to be a republican. >> oh, yeah. karl rove came out and said he was offended by the ad because he thought eastwood was schilling for the obama administration. and so clint eastwood put out a statement saying let me be clear, i'm not an obama guy. he's saying this is about america. >> this is about america. >> inspiring people to move forward. >> seriously, clint and i have one thing to say to teahese
naysayers. we will wrap ourselves in the american flag whether people like it or not. >> i liked it. karl rove claim that had chrysler only did that ad so they wouldn't have to give their government money back, but they already gave the money back. >> they made a profit. >> yeah, mark halperin, let's turn to -- we have a lot to talk about. the super pac business and the morning times has a lead story about illegal money or skewed money. all that other stuff . but underlying the clhatter, th catholic church controversy. what are you hearing from the white house? >> they continue to point to the fact that there are state laws that are similar to this in terms of what are required under health care plans. i think the big factor here, they'll probably have to tweak this at least. the big factor is it gives energy to the republican part i and conservative movement. you see rick santorum and newt
gingrich and mitt romney all talking about this because they know it rallies people on their side. and that's one of the things they lacked. in romney can get religious conservatives inspired by his candidacy, that's a big deal in it terms of getting the base out in november. >> and that's what i don't get about this is the fact that you have with mitt romney a guy that doesn't inspire the base. he certainly doesn't inspire social conservatives. and it would have been so easy for them to put a clause in there that would have exempted catholics for moral reasons. >> can we just get the -- >> can i continuish what i'm saying? >> -- story straight? >> can i finish? is that okay? >> yeah. >> and i mean, they have given him an opportunity to be a hero to the very social conservatives that probably wouldn't have gotten out and campaigned for him. and now feel free to step on
that. >> the peggy noonan piece left some things out. but as the governor of connecticut pointed out, there are 28 states a have these policies in place. six states have the within that t one that obamaed a machi adminis putting in lays. and the thing that was left out mrks will this new order, there's a one to-to-two to three year grace period to work it out to try to find a model in which it can be done. like hawaii has one. >> so let's -- >> that's important information. >> let's start with thunumber t first, that the white house is putting out. >> you can also ask me because i took copious notes on this. but i have to say that the article appears to be very misleading. >> they send you the memos. i understand that. >> i actually was very curious
about this because i don't understand it. so i did some work and actually got information that we didn't have. >> joe was watching soccer. he was working. >> and we should -- >> okay. i heard. number two, let's start with your second point first. it's insulting that the white house shows just how blind they are on will issue to how they are storming on people's religious liberties and beliefs. number two, here is the deal. we're going to ask you to go against 2000 years of catholic belief, but we'll give you a one year grace period to work through it. so at the end of one year, you can then throw away your beliefs of 2000 years. that's number two. the number one issue, it is not relevant to me what 28 states do. what is relevant to me as i'm judging president obama's performance and kathleen sebelius' performance, what is my federal government doing. my opinion as far as federalism
goes, states should be able to do what states want to do on whatever issues. it's the federal government that impacts all of us. that's the real concern. >> do you think hit romney has a really good argument against will this, by the way? >> i'm not actually concerned about mitt romney. >> i was just wondering. >> but mitt romney is irrelevant to me. if mitt romney's law in massachusetts affected catholics in northwest florida, then i would be hearing from catholics that i went to high school with and good friends of mine. this is what i've also found and it's fascinating what the left is doing today. what they're doing take oday ist the right did during the ground zero issue against muslims where instead of talking about the issue at hand whether muslims have a right to have a community center at ground zero, the right just attack the bad actors in the muslim faith. what i've seen the left do over the past 72 hours is try to make this about mitt romney or about what catholics did during world
war ii or what catholic catholi is the same church that rapes little boys and let hitler kill 6 million jews. the catholic church is being attacked by so many people out there in the blogosphere and far left. that's not the relevant position. mitt romney's position is irrelevant. i'm not a supporter of mitt romney's. what's relevant is what the white house is doing. >> you know my points of view are a little bit different than perhaps others on this, but i do think it's important to have a complete perspectivewone thing about is these systems are already in place across the country and that health care is cheaper when it includes certain services. so how to parse that out, how to give people access to health care he best costs while respecting religious beliefs is
a difficult balance. >> but they are not respecting religious beliefs. >> what i learned is that will is an effort. with this great period and search models out there like hawaii which they're trying to accomplish again in some of these other states -- >> talk about hawaii. sdl there's s >> remember when they were trying to get to pass in the house the issue of how abortion would be treated was the big sticking point in the end. two things are clear. the white house did not consult well enough with people because there's a lot of concern. >> and al sharpton said they didn't consult with any religious leaders. >> there are ways fto do this that better balance religious liberty with equal access to health care like hawaii does, which they didn't do and, again,
i think they will move towards. but as a political matter, this is bad for the president no doubt because it has the right energize, it gives them a social issue to dovetail with their economic argument which is obama wants all the power centralized in willie, that's the key. i've made it clear. i don't want washington in the business of abortion, in the business of gay marriage. just stay out of it. none of your business. the you issue here, though, because everybody's obsessed with abortion, contraception, sterilization. even if abortion may pnot be a part of this overall package. everybody wants to make that the fight. no. the biggest problem is this confirms conservative's worst suspicions about barack obama that he wants to centralize power in washington, d.c. and
he'll even walk on the right of catholics and other people of faith if he has to do it. >> it cement takes idea for conservatives and also puts the idea in the mind of some independents, people in the middle of the road will be placing in places like pennsylvania where we talked yesterday more broadly that he wants a federal takeover and more specifically that the affordable care act is in fact a government takeover in health care that will go so far as to infringe on liberties. that's the view from the right. >> it plays into the notions that government is too intrusive, government is too big. and it does have the right dynamics for those who are against more federal involvement. >> defend, if you will, steve, for all of us here and people watching that may not understand why the president would do this, why kathleen sebelius would consider this necessary. what do you think the logic sf the administration so why they felt it necessary to pull the catholics in -- the catholic
hospitals who i guess one out of six hospitals are catholic hospitals. so can you exclude that many? >> i think the argument you can make and you will not necessarily like it is that they do serve one out of six people, which means they employ tens if not hundreds of thousands of workers. many of them relatively low paid, a lot of women obviously. who otherwise may not have access to these kinds of services. it's harder for them to get it, it's more expensive and what the administration would say, and i agree with mark, i think there's work they will have to do to make this fly politically. the argument is we're not saying to 234anybody you have to have abortion, but we're saying you can have access to it. it won't be accessed. >> this is not the federal government compelling an individual to a birth control pill. this is the federal government compelling catholic institutions
to provide coverage if someone chooses to do that. >> it's coverage of people who work in these hospitals. it's not like you're forcing the catholic church to say to their parishioners you should all go out and take birth control pill. it's simply making it part of a health care plan. >> here's a criticism or ugs i would make when you have a policy that inmplicates religio, you cannot believe it to the bureau accurates to just announce it. this is when a president must step forward and explain it himself, explain what the balance was, why he did it, and lead the country to a sensible place. right now the president is not out there explaining this himself. it's the department of hhs and it's bureaucrats and press releases and jay carney. that's not enough. the president must lead on this.
>> do you think they simply didn't anticipate this reaction or did they make a deliberate decision keep the president out of this? >> can't figure it out. >> i think they were surprised by this. >> i don't think the way they have it laid out is the way it's being characterized. >> but it's small government conservatives, as well. >> it is being miskrabt rise ec in some ways. but there's a vacuum. the president is leading a vacuum for his critics to come in and explain it their way and that's not sufficient. this is an important complicated issue. the president got elected to be the leader who needs to explain why has he put his finger on the side of the scale that he has. >> the president will back down on this. >> i agree. >> when we come back, we'll talk to the president's chief strategist, david axelrod. that should be good. >> that will be fun.
let's go to todd santos, first, with a check on the forecast. >> hey, let's take a quick look at the temperatures across the northeast and a few areas this morning waking up to mild mums. later this afternoon, even better than that. here's a quick look at new york city down in the 40s. tomorrow afternoon may get a little snow falling around d.c. less than an inch in the forecast. southwest p.a. could be up to the 1 to 3 inch range. today on the beautiful side of things. florida still hanging on to some of those showers. heavy at times. similar to what we had on the southern edge of 95 yesterday. still tracking some of that snow leaving colorado. be safe on i-70 and i-40. we'll be back. [ male announcer ] you love the taste of 2% milk.
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would i love to take some of the big money out of politics? i would. unfortunately right now, partly because of supreme court rulings and a bunch of decisions out there, it is very hard to be able to get your message out without having some resources. >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> pretty shot of the white house. sun coming up over washington. joining us now from chicago, senior political strategist for president obama, david axelrod.
david, good to have you. >> nice to be with you. >> we've been obsessing on one story this morning, so we'll have to start -- let's just start with it. i think we kick right in. here it is, the headline, gisele saying my husband cannot blanking throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. david, obviously this is a stunner. what say you? >> you you got to admire her loyalty. she does have a point there. but i'm not sure it's going to be great if team cohesion. >> can you imagine what the others are thinking about tomorrow tom's wife right now? >> you know, yeah, she kind of laid it out there. good luck in spring drills there. >> exactly. we'll touch on two stories very quickly and then move on to the catholic story that obviously
we've been talking about a lot. the lead story in the "new york times," obama to return major donations tied to fugitive. what's the campaign's response to that? >> obviously we didn't know who these folks were and they themselves were not party. the vett didn't go deep enough obviously. when we found out, we returned all the money that they donated and raised. we have 1.3 million contributors and so there are going to be holes and when there are, you know, we'll act quickly and that's what we did here. >> the the next story is obama yields and partially of super pacs. obviously he was critical of citizens united, of the super pacs. and a lot of the president's
donors weren't going contribute to the super pac that bill burton helps run until they found out they got the go ahead from the president. some were saying the president's being hypocritical. others are saying and i think most of us agree he doesn't really have much of a choice if he wants to be competitive in this race. but is the president a hypocrite for champion a super pac? >> i'm going to go out on a limb and say no. >> gutsy move. >> the bottom line here is that the citizens united decision was a bad decision from our perspective. it did open the floodgates. but now the rules are what the rules are. you've seen the impact all right. these super pacs have spent over $40 million in these republican primaries. 99% of it on negative ads. we see karl rove, the koch brothers and others talking about raising collectively upwards of half a million
dollars to try and defeat the president. and we were faced with a situation as to whether we could afford to play by two sets of rules. and the answer is obviously no. we're going to support that effort and we're going to insist that everything that is raised is disclosed as required by law. and we're going to move forward. but that doesn't mean that we believe that this is the best way for the system to function. the president whethill continue fight for reform, but that won't be in in this campaign. >> so let's get to the hhs decision as it pertains to religious institutions, specifically the catholic church. because i had a call with the white house yesterday and there certainly was information that wasn't understood out there by some of the people reacting. and i wonder if that ultimately falls back on the white house. i'll give you some examples. we have catholic leaders around
the country, it is a blow to a freedom that you fought to defend and to which you've seen your buddies fall in battle. we cannot, we will not comply with this unjust law. new york city archbishop says the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences. the archbishop of kansas city says unless the rule is overturned, we catholics will be compelled for either violate our consciences or drop health care coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so. go on to hartford. never before in the history of the u.s. has the federal government forced citizens to purchase directly what violates their beliefs. so you do have a pretty strong reaction out there. has theil white house failed in its messaging? >> i'm less concerned about the messaging of this than to find a
resolution that makes sense. let's review the history of how this came about. the institute of medicine practice a recommendation to hhs secretary sebelius that contraceptive care be a part the required package of insurance preve preve preventive care provided to women. just as 28 states have done. why? because it is an important part of that preventive care for women. and they recommended no exemptions. secretary sebelius included an 1k3 eve exemption for churches and church employees. the question is now about these extended affiliated institutions like hospitals and universities. and there are tens of thousand, hundreds of thousands of women who work in these hospitals and universities who are not catholic or they may be
catholic, but they use birth control. and the question is whether they'll have the same package that every other woman in the country has, the same right and access to basic preventive care. and so the president and the administration move forward, but with a grace period or time period in order to work this thing lieu. i heard earlier joe say will may be compromises that can be reached. we have great respect for the work that these institutions do. they're important elements of our country. they serve many, many americans. and we want to -- we certainly don't want to abridge anyone's religious forward. so we want to find a way to provide women the care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions. >> i appreciate the substantive issue, but let me ask you since you work for the campaign now a
political question. is the current controversy politically dangerous for the president's re-election chances and if it is, how lasting might that damage be or can you fix it if there is some sort of change in the policy? >> well, look, this is an important issue. s's important for millions of women across this country. we want to resolve it in an appropriate way. and we're going to do that. what isn't helpful is when people pick it up, i heard governor romney at the top of the hour, you know, fulminating about this i think as much because he has a race on his hands right now with rick santorum in three states today than anything else. but it turn it into a kind of political football that to take advantage of that, to capitalize on that, isn't going to make it easier to resolve this issue. and it's particularly ironic of course given the fact that he governed a state where there was
such a policy similar to the one we have, had nothing to do where he passed a health care plan that required contraceptive care similar to what we're doing. so he's going to have to ultimately answer for his own policies. the real question is how do we get together and resolve this in a way that respects the concerns that have been raised, but also assures women across this country that they will have the preventive care that they need. >> this is willie. a lot of your critics of the white house have said that it was a decision made by bureaucrats with no sensitivity or regard to the catholic faith. did the white house meet with catholic leaders before making this decision, was there a conversation among faith leaders? >> obviously yes, and there have been -- that's been reported. i find it interesting that people variously say this is a decision made by bureaucrats and
i've heard on people suggest that this was a political decision made for political reasons. i mean, you got to ride one horse or another. but bottom line is this was a decision that was made with the interest of the health of millions of women across this country in mind. and was as i said fashioned in such a way that tried to respond to the concerns that were raised by religious institutions. by the way, just on the subject of politics, one of the states that has this policy with no exemptions is the state of georgia. i haven't heard -- i know speaker gingrich has lived in washington for lthree decades, but i haven't heard him thunder about stalinism in georgia. what we need is to lower our voices and get together and use this year and a half actually time period to work through these issues in a thoughtful way. >> david, i understand you're an
old time chicago, so you wouldn't understand this. it is not stalinism in georgia,sgeorgia, it's shermanism in georgia. the dreaded march to the sea. we're talking about super pacs and how much money the president can raise. we've been hear hg thing this b dollar number tossed around -- >> not by me. >> mark, you talked about a billion dollars last year. >> i think the press jumped to that conclusion. >> so the press jumped to that conclusion. we now i think massena pushed back saying it's a bunch of b.s., we won't raise a billion dollars. how much money do you think you need to raise to win this campaign? i mean, obviously at least $750 million you raised last time, right? >> well, that seems -- yeah, that's certainly true. and we'll see if we get there. one thing i'm pleased about is
of those 1.3 million contributors, 98% of them are small donors. our average donation is $55. so i heard dan suggest that we don't have a good solid small donor fund-raising base. we have a stronger fund-raising base among small donors today than we did four years ago. so that's promising. but we're up against a tremendous amount of money here. and so, you know, we'll continue to raise money for our campaign to saupt our operations. and we'll see what this super pac does. i don't imagine thats's going to be able to compete with the array of guns pointed at us, but it may help offset that advantage to some degree. >> it certainly is different for you as a guy that's looking toward a campaign defending an incumbent and he record -- this would be true of any incumbent, being the outsider in 2007 running against washington.
that just presents an array of challenges, doesn't it, not only for your candidate but for any incumbent president. >> even in the best of times, joe. you know, it poses challenges. i'm happy to do battle for what has been done over the last three years. and for the vision that this president is running on. and, you know, i think one of the things that's happening right now is you see this very, very dark kind of depiction of america on the part of these republican candidates who keep running the country down. i think we have problems, we have challenges and people are going through struggles in this country. but this is a great country. do you think might be in china is saying here i wish i could live in china? do you think there are so many people there saying i wish we had what they have? >> this is what i keep trying to tell mika.
this clint eastwood ad, i loved it because i believe in america. i don't care who the president is. i believe in america. but mikmika, you're just so negative. i think it is halftime in america and i think the second half is -- we're going to have our best days ahead of us. >> you're absolute absolutely right especially when the president is reelected, yes. that's true. >> i didn't mean to foment another spate here. i apologize. >> no, i loved your tweet. did you really not know whether clint eastwood directed that ad or not? >> i knew nothing about the ad until i saw it. and that along with the doritoss ad with the dog were my favorite ads of the super bowl. and honestly, i don't understand why every american doesn't feel good about the fact that the american auto industry is coming back. that's a great story for this country. >> not only is it a great story for the country, it's a great story for residents of michigan and illinois and indiana, ohio.
the food chain itself. when detroit is strong, the industrial midwest is strong. >> david, real quick, i know you think mitt romney has suffered over the fight with independents. do you think that's damage that he can't recover from and will sustain all the way through or can he still recover with independents? >> i think independents have been dismayed by his positions. this is another i mentioned earlier. they don't know what to believe. it characterizes what people hate most about politics which is it people are willing to say or do anything that advances themselves rather than an agenda for the country. so i think the problems will be hard to repair. >> david axelrod, thank you. much more morning joy oig in a moment. er.
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capitalized so say mark halperin. >> so says both google and bing. so double sourced. the french ambassador is being recalled from syria as governments loyal to assad ramp up the assault. human rights observers say another 43 people were killed yesterday. the u.s. embassy is closed. the regime is not bowing to international pressure after russia and china vetoed a security resolution. syria makes up 7% of russia's $10 billion in annual arms sales. what happens next, what can the united states do? >> we're in a dangerous spot because the president of the united states has been so out front i think rightly so saying that assad has to go. when you combine that with the fact that the recognition in the region that assad syria is tehran's closest strategic ally.
only access point to the mediterranean, only access point for funding hezbollah. but the president is out will saying assad has to go and there's a extra strategic case for assad going.will saying assad has to go and there's a extra strategic case for assad going. so i think you'll see some funding for opposition forces and a no-drive zone. the question whether or not may toe gets dragged into. >> there became a strategic reason to get rid of gadhafi once the commander this chief said gadhafi must go. once you say assad must go, there becomes a strategic reason why assad must go. >> and you wonder how long the world can sit and watch these pictures come in every day of women and children -- >> just the last few days in egypt, the american citizens are
fortunately, td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. take control by opening a new account or rolling over an old 401(k) today, and we'll throw in up to $600. how that for common sense? let's get a check on business before the bell. brian sullivan is live at cnbc global headquarters. >> everybody's eyes are still on greece. you know something's going to happen. you're kind of waiting, right, and we just keep waiting and waiting. and what did tom petty say, the waiting is the hardest part. >> it is the hardest part. >> but he also says that even losers get lucky sometimes and in this will case maybe greece
will get lucky. i'm not calling the country losers, but they have their financial problems. i will not be going to astoria anytime soon now. but either way the market is waiting. futures slightly down. just in a holding pattern. but i know you were talking about this yesterday about this robo signing. it looks like 40 attorneys general have signed on to this $25 billion deal. >> california? >> no, see, there you go, california and new york have not signed on. which is a big problem because california apparently has a lot of people in it and one of the biggest states for foreclosures. so until they're signed on, it reduces the value of that deal. so california not yet. but 40 states, that's a good sign. markets slightly down following yesterday's slide. it's all about greece. i need to find a better tom petty song. stop dragging my heart around? >> that it's a good one. >> free falling?
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thank you michigan senator debbie spend it now. debbie spends so much american money, you borrow more and more from us. your economy get very weak. ours get very good. we take your jobs. thank you, debbie spend it now. >> i think this race for u.s. senate is between debbie spend it now and pete send it not. i'm pete spend it not hoekstra and i approve this message. >> wow. where do we begin. >> pete hoekstra is standing by that 30 second spot. a young asian woman speaking in broken english. first aired in local michigan markets during the super bowl. the ad links viewers to a separate website, keeps going here, featuring chinese writing with images of teapots, dragons and asian currencies. >> what is going on?
>> the great wall of debt. pete is a friend of mine there congress, so we have actually brought on dan to defeat this -- what's going on here? we like pete. what's he doing? >> he has a tough primary. >> and this helps? >> he's clearly trying to appeal to one segment of the electorate. >> what segment is that? >> i'll let pete speak for himself. i think this is explosive and he should have just stayed in congress. >> if dan won't defend it, let's let pete hoekstra defend it. >> the only group of people that this ad is anti, it's anti-debbie stabenaw and the spending policies of the liberal left. there's no racial tint at all. >> mark murphy saw this and he tweeted pete hoekstra super bowl
team in senate race really, really dumb. i mean really dumb. made by the great fred davis who made the demon sheep ad. he knows how to get attention for his clients. >> and he made the huntsman motorcycle ad. up named hoekstra's advisers saying this is exactly what we wanted. the president is talking about it three days and we're getting online donations. >> i think we might have learned something.
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welcome back to "morning joe." what did you learn today is this. >> i learned that there will be a great event tonight in washington, d.c. to benefit tracy's kids. that's a program that helps young cancer patients cope through art and play therapy. for more information, visit tracy's kid.org. >> willie, i don't know how you you segue to something stupid, but what did you learn today? >> i don't think this will be stupid but i think i heard david axelrod say that the white house will be open to talking about this hhs decision. we haven't seen the end of it. >> sounds like a compromise is coming. what have you learned? >> i learned that gisele should speak before